Tuesday, November 29, 2011

It's an Off Schedule Day

Lizzie is a fantastic sleeper. I've always been a big fan of sleep myself, so I'm not terribly surprised my daughter inherited that trait. After all, I spent most of my time sleeping when I was pregnant with her.

I am suddenly concerned the next kid will be constantly sleep deprived...

Not really, of course. If sleeping a lot while pregnant was the real answer, expectant mothers everywhere would spend nine months in a self-induced coma.

We've made getting Lizzie proper sleep a priority her whole life and I think a big part of the reason she sleeps so well is that we keep to a very regular sleep schedule. This not only has the benefit of a well rested, healthy, happy child, it also makes the days more predictable and easier to manage.

Today, of course, is a totally off day. Lizzie had a fever yesterday afternoon and most of the night, her first one ever, and she's still recovering. I'm not sure what she really needs at this point because I have exactly no experience with how she reacts to being sick. Plus, I had an appointment with my OB this morning and had to take Lizzie with me (even if I could have left her with Sarah, I wouldn't have risked her daughter catching whatever bug got Lizzie yesterday), which meant running about. Running about is never good for the schedule. Result: everything is totally off and I'm not entirely sure where to go from here.

Lizzie's normal schedule runs like this:

7:30 - wake up
7:30-8:30 - breakfast
8:30-11:00 - playtime
11:00-1:00 - nap
1:00-1:30 - lunch
1:30-4:00 - playtime
4:00-5:00 - dinner, bath, and bedtime routine
5:00 - sleep

Now, it's not exact. Sometimes she wakes up a little early or takes a half hour or so to actually fall asleep at night. Some days she only naps for 45 minutes instead of the full 2 hours. But in general, that's how it goes.

Yes, really, that's pretty much our day every day. Yes, I know how lucky I am that I have a 15 month old who sleeps 14.5 straight hours overnight and then takes a 2 hour nap in the middle of the day. And I'm still here complaining about being off today.

I suck and you hate me and every parent who reads this post is never going to speak to me ever again. I get it. Hell, I have the super-sleeping baby. I take a little hate in exchange. ;-)

The downside to having a child who sleeps this much and this regularly is that when she's off, it really hits her hard. So here's today:

6:30 - wake up (after a super crap night of feverish irregular sleep)
7:30-8:30 - breakfast
8:30-9:30 - playtime
9:30-10:00 - nap in the car on the way to OB's office
10:00-12:00 - stroller and car seat playtime at the doctor and on the way home (she's a very active kid and does not like to sit still; this did not go over well)
12:00-3:00 - nap
3:00-4:00 - "lunch"

Um.... now what the heck do I do? Normally, if she wakes up a little early, I just ignore it and hope she's back on track by the next morning. If she takes a really short nap, say 30 minutes or less, I start the dinner, bath, and bedtime routine a little early to make up some of the difference. Or if she takes a long nap, I start dinner, bath, and bedtime a little late because I know she's not going to fall asleep again so soon after waking up.

Alas, today is just screwed up all the way around. I'm pretty sure she woke up early because her sheets were totally soaked with sweat from the fever last night and she can't have been very comfortable. No biggie, we just changed the sheets and moved on.

And the nap in the car didn't worry me, because I knew she'd be going down for her nap late if she took one at home at all. I mean, it was entirely possible she'd fall asleep in the car on the way home from the doctor too, meaning there would be no nap once she was home and at that point I was going to be grateful for that 30 minutes of extra sleep she snatched on the way down.

But she didn't fall asleep in the car on the way home, so she took a great nap in her crib once we were home. In fact, as you can see above, she napped for an extra long time. After a three hour nap, I'd normally push her bedtime back by about half an hour to compensate without depriving her of extra sleep she clearly needed.

But cumulatively, I'm at a loss. I mean, she just woke up and had lunch an hour and a half ago. I suspect that if I try feeding her dinner in a few minutes and then put her to bed, she's just going to fight me. It's not like she had a lot of playtime today to wear herself out with. But she was so sick last night and though she's in good spirits today she still looks a little pale. She's clearly got some more recovery to do.

I suppose we could skip dinner, since she's probably not hungry. But I don't want her to wake up hungry at 3AM either. Maybe a light dinner, half a bottle and two cubes of sweet potatoes instead of a full bottle, three cubes of sweet potatoes, and some ravioli like I'd originally planned?

And then bedtime might just have to be a fight. I'm kinda spoiled in that we rarely have to fight with her to get her to sleep. (Yeah, there's more of that hate coming my way. The post isn't even live yet as I type this and I can already feel it.) Or maybe I'm borrowing trouble. Maybe the fever has left her so beat she'll just drop off like normal in spite of virtually no activity all day.

This being a mom thing is tricky. Why don't kids come with troubleshooting instructions?

1 comment:

  1. If she were Sweet Pea (my good sleeper) I would try to put her to bed at six. If it goes well, great. If not definitely to bed by seven. I find anything more than two hours late to bed, even with waking incredibly late, and it's another full day or two before we are back on schedule. Same is true for Little Man, but he's a fight to sleep no matter what. It actually makes it easier on those completely off routine days.